I'm trying to create a 'Delete History' icon. Here's how it looks now:

enter image description here

There are two problems:

1 - I feel something doesn't look right.
2 - How do I get "History" to look like it's there, and not that I just inserted the text? I tried using Warp in PhotoShop, but I didn't get the desired effect.


As @Kurt pointed out, I made rounded corners, and I changed the font to a rounder font. How does this look?

enter image description here

  • 6
    Part of the problem may be that the arrow appears curved, while the text does not. If the word were made to follow the arc of the arrow, that could help. Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 19:10
  • 2
    What is the size of your icon on screen? Assuming 32px square, that text is going to be like 2 pixels high. No matter what font you use, the text will be illegible and not even recognizable as text for that matter.
    – The111
    Commented Apr 16, 2016 at 4:03

3 Answers 3


Icons are made to not include text within it for many reasons.

  1. First, Icons could be smaller and any text in it could be hard to read
  2. Second, Icons are made to relate and connect a certain function with well know visual representation to man mind, without thinking or even reading.
  3. Third, what would you do when somebody in other country wants to localize your Icon in his native language? you are making hard to localize your application to other languages.

So it is not preferable to represent any text within the icon graphics.

For me History could be representing with clock.

  • 2
    This. Keep the trashcan, but replace the arrow and caption with a little clock or something to convey "history". Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 21:26
  • 1
    Thanks! That is a smart suggestion! Do you think I should use this garbage bin, or a different one?
    – Horay
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 21:51
  • 1
    What do you think of this i.imgur.com/DONgjzw.png ?
    – Horay
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 21:54
  • yeah, form me its better now, but try to unify the width, the line weight.
    – hsawires
    Commented Apr 18, 2016 at 16:38

I can not tell you how to do that with photoshop or other programs (I do not use them), but I think I can explain your your "feeling":

If you compare the arrow with text history you see the sharp lines and corners? The other part of the logo is build with round corners. So try a font and an arrow that uses rounded corners too.


Comparing both icons the second is better, but the font for the text "history" is too wide. As already mentioned in a comment the curved arrow does not match the other part of the icon. So I suggest to use an non-curved arrow or---if you insist in this kind of arrow--- set the text "history" on a path following the form of the arrow.

At last can you please add both icons to your question in the size the logo should used later. Background is to proof, if the text history is readable or not. It would also help you can add what you mean with history. History like browser history? Or ?

  • Updated question
    – Horay
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 18:54

Icons are used to overcome language barriers. By inserting a word in an icon you have just removed this function.

  • I feel this does not answer the question (unless your answer is a literal "don't do this",) and would be better off as a comment.
    – Jongware
    Commented Apr 16, 2016 at 14:46
  • Hi Bob Cratchet! Welcome to GDSE. We follow a strict Q&A format (as opposed to a forum format), so I'm afraid your answer might get some down-votes because it doesn't really answer the question (although I completely agree with your comment!). You can visit our help center to read more about how the site works. Don't get discouraged, though! We have a lot of un-answered questions that would greatly benefit from some input!
    – Cai
    Commented Apr 16, 2016 at 15:05

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